- Lesson details
In this series, instructor Charles Hu teaches you his approach to beginning head drawing. This six-part series will cover: Proportions, the Structure of the Skull, Laws of Light, Achieving Likeness, Facial Features, and Facial Expressions. In this fourth lesson, Charles demonstrates how achieving a likeness in your portraits relies on matching the big shapes of the head.
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we’re going to talk about likeness and gestures and so I'm going to take you guys
through a gestural laying in and also we’re going to be focusing on two major
masses, the facial and the hair mass. And you know to capture enough to
capture likeness and also I will get into to the features and show you guys how
to you get likeness off of those features too.
So let's get to it.
We going to talk about - in this lesson
we are going to talk about head gestures and likeness because I know everybody drawing portraits
they would like to, you know, capture like likeness.
So I will show you guys what does that mean to capture likeness and
also reinforce the gestures within the drawing so likeness and also give some
characters to the portraits. So let's get started.
Okay, so I'm going to start with this, a frontal view, in portrait.
So like what I like to do again,
I'm not going to take you know, these drawings to a full rendering
so I would start my head
in roughly an oval shape and like I mentioned before, it allows
me to give me the freedom to see how large, how small I want
the head to be composed on my page.
Because I'm not committed to the drawing yet,
I can make it smaller if I wanted, I can make it a larger if I want.
But the next thing is that I need some, you know, straights because in the egg
is like I stated that there's no structure to it.
Although we can have the access feel like it's upright
but the first thing let's put down a center line and next thing I need
to do is I need to go to the bottom half to apply some straights and I tend to like to
do that at the jaw section because on the upper part can see the hair, it gets so
abstract. I don't like to go for that on the top. Like here I think right
away we get the social structure to it.
And if you look at hair although like I said the silhouette’s gonna
get pretty round and hard to
put clear guidelines down but if we look at the sideburn - not the sideburn
the side of the temple line, then we can still find some clear edges, clear sharp edges, you know
somewhat straight. And so I can kind of go for that
straight right there. And I always try to start with
the largest shapes, that means for head that would be hair and
facial shapes. You know don't start with a round egg and just start rendering all your
features. I have seen often students do that,
but that does not give you the likeness, the likeness is all coming
to the shapes and how accurate the shape looks and how you
designed it. So the next thing I'll do is that I can use this core
shadow comes in and finding my eyebrow lines right there and I can go right into
Well in this case I have such a large shadow mass
what I can even do,
I can do this for now and then like I said I can find a smaller feature.
And here it's going to be
our eye line. I see a core shadow over those, I'm going to put that down and
kinda help me to guide to where the roughly the nose going to be.
I need a cast shadow from bottom of the nose that’s gonna swing right to my lips.
And you can see from the wing of nose to the corner of the lips,
it goes, you get this triangle relationship.
So it can help you to see how wide and where to place
the corner of the lips and, you know, it works well for front view.
You can do that in three quarter view too, although the side away from us
are, you know, usually I compare that to my eyes instead of comparing it
to my nose. Putting down some shadows. So the eye is going to be right here and
you can see the other, it’s going to sit right
here. And we talked about, you know, finding to place some lines
or beside we have this keystone.
You can definitely see this keystone sits right in here.
Here's my eyebrow line and let me
find that a little bit.
Here’s the eyebrow line. So the eyebrow is going sit on top of the eyebrow line.
Not quite you know,
That idea is not quite exact.
Actually the eyebrow comes below the eyebrow line and it goes over but usually just, you know,
just for not get it too complicated.
Bottom of the eyebrow line. And then you can see here's the core shadow from the front
of forehead. Comes down. And all of this is going to drop into a shadow side so I
can just blast that in first.
And then here's the corner of our nose and all this here is going to drop
into - drop down to our shadows. The ball of the nose,
so I'm going to loop this, feel this roundness and it's going to sit on the
side of the ball and also the bottom. You can probably see the ball of the nose you can see the bottom plane
right there and it’s going to rise up and going to go back right to the
nostril. The to upper lips
you see it's right here
he has a thinner upper lips.
And the cast shadow below the nose dropping to philtrum and the catch
over to the side. And got the dimple right there, deeper shadow on the corner
of the lips. The light source is from our
right, I’m gonna keep some light on the lower lips on towards the right side.
I need to double check again to see if the overall proportion is accurate
So I’m gonna redefine some of the, for example of this edge right there.
You know this edge right here that kind of helps to frame, besides frame the face,
it also kind of helps to push out my cheekbone
and really kind of brings out the facial shapes.
And usually when I render the hair,
I just kind of follow the gesture of the hair, it looks like he had
this - looks like he just woke up and his hair kind of goes a little bit messy and goes
up like this. Just drop all this. So I’m thinking you in terms of mass, all my shadow mass versus
my light mass is -
we talked about this, well Talk about this in the light and shadow lesson, can go back
and go back to the lesson and
kinda review it and look at it.
And now I can - I need check to see if my bigger shapes are, you know,
pretty accurate, noticing does it need more structure, does it need more tailor on the shape
itself or if it looks pretty good that I can go into
maybe my smaller shapes but I still, when I’m saying gestures I'm not just talking
about it's the gesture of the center of the head and I'm also talking about the gesture
and the rhythm, how every part flows and how every part works cohesively. Because
everything you mark, every mark you make there’s a certain rhythm to it. You know this hair right here
is going to float this way,
these hairs kind of going to swing up this way and this is probably going to swing down
and when each, you know,
when each gesture flows, you need to ask yourself where it takes you to. It’s going to
take you to another element and so I can make sure that the
element has to still have to work,
you know, cohesively with everything else,
you know, still has to work
along with that flow. So what I mean is that I put that, you know, that
ear canal here, but I also need to see how that flows to my rest of my,
you know, my features.
So for example like eyebrow, take you down to the end of this sideburn
and that’s going to take you to again the other side of this ear.
Always be aware of your silhouette.
Okay, so this is not good what I just did here.
If you look at it here in the top of the ear, everything again is just kind of
blending into this mass.
You know, that means - what that means
there’s no identity to anything.
So what I need to do, if you look at the reference -
you know if this is something you want to do,
if this is something that’s not important to you then that’s fine but if you want that ear to be
part of a silhouette, you know to be part of your characters,
we might want to make sure you are
clarifying that. Same as this ear lobe on the bottom that attaches to the cheek.
That negative space that rises up and falls down, that triangle negative space, again
gives a character a likeness and also a direction. Like everything completes this triangle shape down
to the ear. See the tear duct
lines are right about where the
wing of the nose. And here again,
here's the eyeball. So what I need to do, so
I know this is my beginning of my eyeball, here’s the end of it,
all I need to do is just kind of draw the eyelid over. Let me get that
keystone a little more clear. I'm looking at the shadow shapes
that cast underneath the eyebrows. I look at this negative space right here where the skin folds
in. You can see how much that space
there. So I’m just basically again
gonna try to match my dark and light relationship.
And we will get into the feature.
So again, now I'm just going to kinda lightly put a tone that indicates the
lower eyelid and here is the - you can see a strong shadow that casts over but I want
to make sure these eyelids fall kinda
equally. Got s little highlight there, I’m gonna kinda help to outline that.
Double check and you always have to, you know, double check to see the overall. A lot of times when
we’re working on the smaller details
we tend to kinda zoom in to
look at the specifics. Now we have to zoom out
to see what's the overall comparison.
Sometimes you can see, for example
like right here you have to find loss in a firm edge around the
hair because overall obviously you don't want no hard edges and feel like being this way it
doesn’t feel natural because the hair naturally grows from the scalp.
So but then you put everything soft, like I said, then we lost some of the structures. And you could look at your reference or look at your model
to see, you know, and play with the difference. If you see a softer
area then make something else next to it firm.
Don't keep it all soft. And make sure to make it
a little bit different from everything else.
For example that little curly hair, make this one a little bit
longer than this. And make this distance a little bit different than that distance.
Something round and something gives a point.
And when you, every time when you're dealing with a point,
I'm always looking diagonally to see If I can relay that point diagonally to some area
that would be - it’ll help to kind of anchor the relationships.
See I'm always looking for that relationship,
something angled, something straight, something straight, something
you know, round or something angles again.
Something really dark again to push out that cheekbones.
is probably the most important structures is that cheekbone I want to keep that
form and brings out that cheek so it's on this side.
And now I going to go more careful in depth, going punching some of this
area, looking to again, look into my shadow shapes and start with the shadow side first so I can
punch everything in a little more clear and then see if you look the forehead core
shadows, you’re going to see this little zig zag, especially right at the eyebrow
you’re going to have this little bump that kicks back.
And the reason why that the first lesson I talk about there’s a visor that goes over
our eyebrow lines.
That's where this shadow meet that visor it kicks over. You
have two, you have one like I said above the eyebrow, you have one within
the eyebrow and the eye line, kinda goes in here, here’s our eye line.
One goes right in here, that goes right over your eyelid, the other one like I said goes
over to this side, to the side of your face and you can see if you follow
when you bring it down.
it’s going to take you to right where the apex of the cheekbone and this
apex kind of lines up to where your ear canal is, that’s
basically you're zygomatic arch.
And also if you look one of - you know again one other thing you’re going to do is
to kind of bounce back and forth,
you know, we called that rhythm, you have eyebrow bounce this way
or shadow of the eyebrow is going to kick back this way again and
The cast shadow is
going to kick back, kick back again into your tear duct.
So you got this kind of zigzag actions now going on and it’s more exciting.
I don’t know if you guys can see this, again
you got cast shadow over your eyeball and then it’s going to cast over your lower
eyelid. Okay, you got this portion right here,
it's your lower eyelid. So you got cash shadow over the eyeball, over the
lower eyelid, and go and catch over onto your face.
Again the light source
Is on the right side, we can make everything on the right side just a
little bit darker. Do the same thing, unify your shadow shape, create the most interesting, the most dynamic
shadow shape or not just shadow shapes, any shapes.
Kick out, kick back in, bring the back out.
Like I said, I mentioned before, I look at how much -
so for example, start off with tear duct
right here. How much white you see of the eyes and then that's where I decide to place my
iris. This side is very little, this side has a little more.
The pupil is the darkest.
I'm going to punch that in really dark.
I can even probably come back with my black and there you will get a gradation from the
top and then gradate down and you got some reflected light from
the bottom. So what happens in here,
we talked about here, you got the - want to define the eyebrow line a little bit right here
so I’m gonna make sure we get - the eyebrow still needs to sit on like that on the
top of the eyebrow line. Here
you follow that, this is
your keystone. And you got this part, this portion going to continue to
come down and going to extend down to our nose.
Make sure all the triangle you’re seeing here all are going to be somewhat a triangle shaped.
That's a triangle. That's a triangle, right?
And that's also a triangle.
Even these, that is a triangle in there.
So this going to loop around, wrap around into the socket.
So you get this socket, eyes protecting within the socket. There’s the keystone here is a little bit
darker because it’s a down plane. Here’s the other side of the nose, you can kinda see that’s where the base of the nose right
here and then it’s going to come to the front and really quickly -
actually there's a corner plane before it drops down to the side plane.
What I like to do because I know the whole head in somewhere like
an egg, everything on the side has to be darker. So I can actually, right away
if I want to, I can actually put a tone just on the side,
you know just to keep everything feels a little more - has a little more volume.
Okay. Well, like I said,
I don't want to take this to a rendering lesson.
So I think at least at this point we captured the, at least the likeness of the model and
All I need to do is taking my darker charcoal to punch in
some darker areas and that will kind of bring
again, you know,
take it slow and still be aware all this the nuance
of shape and shape relationship and you know,
and I can bring out the likeness at the end, I can
bring and give it a nice refined
drawing to this portrait.
So let’s, you know, let’s see what with another image.
I want to give you guys more information about what I'm going to talk
about in this lesson on the likeness and gesture.
So I'm probably going to move a little quicker for this one.
Okay, so three quarter view. I can also start an oval shape.
I need a center line.
And when I draw an oval shape, the ear is going to sit - where
that kicks in is where my eyebrow is.
Center line, I'm going to curve that center line just a little bit more and
I'm taking the eyebrow into see where is my ear because ear usually sits right behind
this egg shape. How much jaw I see.
But the problem with an egg is this is going to be a squashed head and that's
not good. So we’re going to - I'm going to round this, give a sphere in here to
give him more of a fuller, more accurate cranium. And then we can I feel more
confident to put the hair over once I have the right cranium shape.
So I know the hair will be right here besides his forehead, swing over,
come down where that corner is and kicks back in and the zigzag back to
the sideburn, come down right here. And step back
and double check. Get a sense of where that cheek line. And look at the silhouette is blocking some
major angles. Well this is initial mark is not going to be 100% accurate at least not at
the beginning so we can refine those later on so but I'm making - I
want to make sure the major shapes has to be
somewhat close and also the placement of the features. So again I will start from the further side which is usually what I like to do because
it's closer in measurement. So eyebrow - well what we need,
we need to know at least I need to block in roughly where the corner
of this eye is because how much cheek is gonna determine the tilt of the head.
So looks like quite far out like this.
Because I can look at this distance right, the hair.
Keystone kicks in, bridge of nose kicks out. Where the end - or you can always compare
to somewhere else that you already drew. In this case I don't have the cast
shadow like the front view that I have, I just had to really kind
of carefully observe. And then the bridge of nose is going to kick
back to sit on the face, center line of the face.
And then I like to do a V, indicate the front place of the face,
which is the shadow at the bottom of the ball of the nose. And you can see it’s gonna
sit back like this. You got a M - well you can see the other side
and then here’s the wing of the nose. And then right here where
this ends going to create that triangle cash shadow
down below. My eye line, my keystone. I'm going to look at this shape of the shadows.
Make sure to design the. Here is the keystone again.
This is going to drop down to the side of the keystone. Often
you’re going to see this wedge shape or shadow and like I said, you can design -
well geometrically it’s going to look somewhat like a triangle like this.
Okay. So what we can do, we can tweak a little, get a little S curve in there to
feel a little bit more organic and what I did
I just kind of, you know, do something like that,
you know just basically it's a variation of that same shape, just curve a little bit
and give a little bit of life to it. And remember also that
I have the inner arch that can help you to see
where the inner eyeball - sorry
the outer eyeball, the inner eyeball is over the tear duct,
somewhere right here. Can tell us where the eyeball, you know, sits.
This is also going to kick back up, again it creates another strong wedge-shaped like
this and usually I like to keep this strong edge shows where the front plane goes to the side
plane and also goes up to the side plane of your forehead.
See all this is the side plane of your forehead.
And be aware of this negative - well this highlight
Right here. You can see this highlight and design it.
Interesting too. Usually what I would do if I wanted to to make sure
my shapes are, you know, somewhat interesting
I tend to do smaller strokes.
I keep trying to refine everything.
A little different than every line
I just put down previously.
So here’s the center line, keeping in mind
you know I don't see people making -
they have problem drawing the lips.
Mostly have to do with a placement of the lips
and also making sure there is a bulge like teeth underneath.
So usually I see people misplace or make the mouth too flat.
That's usually the problem that I see, it’s not like they can’t really render lips
they can’t get the end shape of lips.
Usually that's not the issue is making sure get a sense
of the a muzzle. Making sure it's lying somewhat in the middle and center of the eyes.
You can use the cast shadow to see where that corner of the lips is or
the cast shadow to see where the middle of the lips is.
Very little on this side and a lot on this side. Again you definitely see here
the lower lips in light.
Drawing through. Again you got another very dynamic
shot a shape that swings over this way.
Step back and double-check again. This guy doesn’t have very strong cheekbones and some people the
cheek will rise further than the bridge of eyes. In this case his actually sits
within. And his cheek also kind of comes in some, people might come down straight.
His actually kinda comes in a little bit but you can see where
I just follow them, you know, almost like his mustache down hereof this corner of the mouth
bring it diagonally, you can see there’s a little, kinda a little bump right there.
And that's where it recedes back to the his chin. Here’s another problem people often make is that we can define this side of the corner of the chin obviously easier to see which is about right
here but then we still need to know somewhat where the other side of the chin is.
Because otherwise if you misplaced, for example if you misplace the chin,
if it somehow doesn't align with your features correctly
It’s gonna, you know,
if you somehow missed a line the whole lower jaw is gonna feel crooked and you
don't want, you know, that to happen. Okay so ideally in certain proportions the corner of the chin also
lines up with the corner of the lips and the corner of the lips
lines up with the center of our eyes.
So in this case, you can see his corner of the chin slightly kind
of doesn't quite line up perfectly,
but I still need to -
that means I'm still imagining this chin is still going to be somewhat within
this area. I might still want to put it somewhat in here. Any
area in this - around this area will be okay.
So in this case, you can see from the reference,
you can see the shadow would kind of angle up a little bit and that's all
I need to indicate there’s somewhat corner right there. Instead you make this kind of
round loop and something that doesn't quite show where that
corner of the chin. And then kind of follow this, you can see you
got a little triangle shadow comes out and sit back.
A light that kicks back and kind of bring it to,
you know, our cheek plane. Again you that plane is - where that plane is is
here’s again, he’s the side of the forehead and it's going to
drop and it’s going to kick back up and is going to swing forward,
swing forward like this. And then it’s gonna - well you can see there's a little kickback
right? Because you can definitely see that's where the cheekbone is. Again you got this beautiful little
wedge shape like that if you look carefully and then it’s going to
sit back and it’s going to point towards that little triangle shape right here.
And this probably is going to swing down towards the bottom of the nose again.
That's your, you know, your cheekbones.
Okay, here's the other thing. This looks too round - well let me
paint this all in shadow now. Paint in the shadow and I’ll refine it.
We have this bottom plane of our jaw is a very subtle transition.
But still there is a plane that attaches from your jaw to your
neck, right, so we still need that. And to
understand the structure of it
we have to understand the - finding the corners. So again back to our chin.
The corner right here, we have another corner right
here that indicates the front of our chin. Take that point back to our jaw,
which is somewhat - let’s just say it’s right here.
I'm going to put another, connect anothert line right here.
So then we have the neck that sits below. The neck also
has a front and also a side.
So that probably is gonna start making more sense.
Here is the tubular shape of my neck.
And so that means this tube point has to attach to somewhere along this edge and that
point has to attach back to this point.
So to give you that bottom plane of the jaw and often that's where you receive
the reflected light. And but obviously these edges are gonna be really subtle so a lot
of time you don't see them but you will see them by the value
difference. Like I said here probably going to be darker.
Here probably going to be a little bit darker also and then you get that reflected light.
Here going to get reflect light also so we can see where the Adam’s
apple is going to be super dark because. You can even see the kick out
of the Adam’s apple like that. The eyebrow doesn't extend that far out.
Okay the forehead, the front of forehead, only last about where the center of
the eye is. So the center of the eye is probably going to be about, only about
this portion. Oops sorry, that’s a little sloppy. This portion right here. And you're really quickly going to turn to
the corner plane and then going to turn to the side that one I just
drew. Okay, so If you look this is going to actually start angled down like
this. Here's it’s going to angle in this way.
Because that's a keystone drop down.
So is this side,his eyebrow kind of hard to see but he actually for
planer breakdown, you actually go that front and really quick actually turns to the corner and turns to the side
like this. And that's in this part is going to wrap into our eyelid
and you can see that.
See how it goes right into our eyelid right in here.
So what that means, you actually usually here’s the forehead, comes down get a sense,
you know, you get a sense of this actually right here is going to kick
out. Remember that visor. And you’re going to have this kind of wrap into
your, kind of your eyeball.
Get a sense that this
has a plane that can wrap around like
that. Kind of get a sense of it goes behind.
And watch out this little drop right there.
You can see again this calf has this cast shadows
from this big shadow right here cast down to the tear duct
over the lower eyelid. Often when we draw the three quarter view, we
want to make sure most of the time especially a higher bridge it will
cover part of the eye.
Here’s that coffin shape I mentioned before and here's the ball of the nose,
that’s going to kick out again.
So you got this shape and this shape,
and if you look at a shadow, shadows going to do this.
So, let's see. Well for these eyes I’m not going to spend time to - because of time
concern I’ll just basically indicate again that shadow shape right here and then goes into
the eyeballs. I’m going to -
lower eyelid, I’m just going to do this.
You can still see the structures, see how the lower eye lift sits on - I
mentioned this before - how the lower eyelid sits on the face. You got this
cheekbone does this. Can see how it kinda sits on top of
of that. So here, so you got this side is going to extend a little further and
that side, the other side, kinda kicks out really quick.
You going to go to that much, you see you got this side.
And that point right there, diagonally,
you see how I drew that line right here? Indicate where the plane of
the upper cheekbone, you take that over,
that's where the apex of the cheekbone is, right there.
And then come back into your cheek. And in this case, this bump is not
just because it lines up diagonally to the corner of lips, it’s also because
it's the muzzle that kind of protrudes out and then push out that
contour. Always be aware
where the ear sits. See so again
the hair is going to be -
going to swing this way,
and I want to use the hair to indicate where the side plane of
the forehead, which you can see right here, it attaches onto the side plane, got a little step
down going to sideburn, that has to be lower than
my eyebrow. Again swing your eyes over. Gonna swing back, tucks behind the ear and comes back down to behind
the ear. Get that wraps over.
See right now once I put down this overall of the hair,
I noticed something feels unbalanced, almost feels like it's too heavy up there and to the left,
my left side Is a little bit too heavy. And that's a thing, you know,
we have to get a sense of how the drawing is composed in terms of balance,
the weight balance.
And in this case if, you know, it feels like it’s too left heavy I need to find a way
to balance it off my right.
Let's see if I add this little shoulder right here.
This side of the neck.
See if that helps.
If that helps to maybe grab over a little bit.
But the reason why this side feels heavy, maybe because this side, this
corner right here maybe has too much weight.
So that means maybe I can give this corner here some weight to it to help balance. In
this case luckily this guy looks like he just woke up, he has some string of hair
coming out this side so I can use that to balance it.
Or I can also maybe bring this forehead forward a little bit.
That way see it doesn't quite feel so tilted as before.
Okay. So in this lesson we talked about likeness and mainly the likeness is
about focusing on the larger shape relationship, the hair shape versus the facial shape.
Feature-wise just need to make sure to be aware of the placement and often that
placement, the accurate placement, it goes back to my first lesson, you know,
the structures of the head. It shows you how, you know, how to define,
you know, where to place all these features and and I think significantly
it’s mostly about be aware about the shape relationships and making
sure that also be aware of your edge control.
There’s, you know, the exercise you can do to help you is still going to be
you know, same as getting through drawing from photo reference or drawing from life. You can do
charcoal like I did or you can do with a ballpoint, a fountain pen in
your sketchbook, but like beside, you know, it will help you besides just kind of drawing from the
pictures, trying to copy from pictures, also thinking about how the planar breakdown like and also
in this lesson I also cover,
you know, I kinda cover significantly. So you need to have both, you need
have the organic gestures and
the shape designs and also need have 3D,
Get a sense of 3D structures. Okay good luck and I'll see you soon.